A couple of weeks ago, I booked my first trip to the US in three years. And I've been scared to admit it, but for the very first time, I have mixed feelings.
I really, really want to see my family! It's been far too long!
I can't wait to revel in the Enchanted Mitten that is Michigan, with all its breathtakingly beautiful lakes.
|Look at how beautiful!|
I even look forward to eating all those (terrible, wonderful) things you can't get here in Germany, like Twizzlers, Cheetos, and Ranch Dressing. (I'm so classy.)
However . . .
One option is to just not talk about our different opinions and hope we'll all get along. But political developments are not just conversation topics. Decisions made are real things that impact real lives.
Removing protections for transgender people, for example those stipulating that a doctor must treat transgender people, will seriously affect one of my loved ones. Could even be life threatening.
Taking away the ACA would mean a good friend, with a pre-existing condition they can do nothing about, can no longer afford health insurance, would no longer be able to afford the medicine that keeps them able to work.
30 million dollars for a ridiculous military parade, and racism-fueled spending to build a wall to Mexico that experts say wouldn't help anyway will use up money that could be spent on things that could make a real difference. Better pay for teachers like one in my family. Better education for all children (and not only those in private schools). De-escalation Training and Racial Sensitivity Training instead of increased police brutality more likely to affect friends who are people of color.
The name calling, lying, and loss of dignity in government. The resulting loss of respect throughout the world that I see on a daily basis as an expat.
And of course, my home country has the loosest gun controls in the developed world, which lead to more gun-related deaths per capita than any other country. It makes me wonder, makes me fear, that we could be next in the statistics. In case you're wondering, as of May 1, 2018, it's been 4685 people who have died of gun violence in the US this year alone. People with families, friends, colleagues. Not to mention over 8000 injured. People in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could just as we hit one of us.
You may think my view of things is too simplistic. It's not money for the wall vs money for education because one's at a federal and the other at a state level. I don't want to get into the nitty gritty details right now. The point is it shows the priorities of our country right now. Priorities that honestly sicken me.
So do I look forward to going back home after so long. Most definitely.
But with a heart that's tattered and torn and praying the country will be able to bounce back from the dangerous direction it's headed.
picture by me